Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyers

Calgary Criminal Defence LawyersAt Strategic Criminal Defence we specialize in providing expert legal representation to clients facing criminal charges in Calgary. Being charged with a criminal offence can be one of the most stressful experiences of a person’s life, causing immense stress and anxiety for the accused and their loved ones. We understand the importance of having the right legal representation on your side.

Navigating the criminal justice system can be a daunting task, especially without the guidance of a skilled and knowledgeable legal professional. We always advise against representing yourself in criminal proceedings, as the stakes are high, and the legal procedures can be complex.

Our team of experienced criminal defence lawyers has been recognized as one of the leading firms in Alberta. We serve clients not only in Calgary but throughout the province. With our vast experience and proven track record of success, we’re well-equipped to protect your rights and achieve the best outcome for your case.

Types of Crime We Handle

At Strategic Criminal Defence, we handle a wide range of criminal cases in Calgary and the surrounding areas.

Our experienced lawyers have successfully represented clients in various criminal cases, including:

  • Impaired Driving: Including cases involving operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and related offences like refusing to provide a breath sample or driving while disqualified.
  • Domestic Violence: Any form of abuse or violence that occurs within a domestic or intimate relationship. Domestic violence can occur in any type of intimate relationship, including marriages, common-law partnerships, and dating relationships. These crimes include assault, harassment, sexual assault, and other related offences.
  • Violent Offences: We handle cases involving all types of assault, homicide, manslaughter, first- and second-degree murder, and robbery.
  • Drug Offences: We offer legal representation for drug-related crimes, such as possession, trafficking, production of controlled substances, and organized crime.
  • Youth Offences: We have experience representing young offenders under the age of 18. Youth offences can include a range of criminal acts, from minor offences like theft and mischief to more serious offences like assault and drug trafficking.
  • Administration of Justice: We provide legal services for cases involving breach of court orders, obstruction of justice, failure to appear, perjury, and other administration of justice-related offences.
  • Criminal Driving: Such as cases related to dangerous driving, careless driving, criminal negligence in the operation of a motor vehicle, and other criminal driving offences.
  • Assault & Threats: These cases involve the use or threat of force against another person. These crimes include assault, uttering threats, and other related offences.
  • Sexual Offences: We have experience representing clients in cases involving sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual interference, unwanted sexual touching, and other sexual offences.
  • Property Crimes: We handle cases involving theft, fraud, shoplifting, vandalism, arson, possession of stolen property, and other property-related offences.
  • Traffic Crimes: Including cases involving speeding, driving without insurance, racing, leaving the scene of an accident, and other related offences.
  • Pardons, Record Suspension: We provide legal advice and services related to pardons and record suspensions.

Calgary Criminal Defence Statistics

During 2022, the Calgary Police Service Quarterly Reports indicate thousands of crimes committed in Calgary each year. The following summarizes Calgary’s 2022 crime statistics:

Type of Crime Total Number Committed in 2022
Homicide 27
Other Offences Causing Death 2
Attempted Homicide 12
Sex Offences 1327
Robbery 1007
Assault 9313
Miscellaneous Violent Crime 2174
Break and Enter 8064
Theft 28,832
Vehicle Theft 5958
Fraud 5876
Other Property Crimes 5228
Other Criminal Code Offences 14,513

How A Calgary Defence Lawyer Can Help

If you are facing criminal charges, it is in your best interest to employ an experienced criminal defence lawyer. An experienced Calgary criminal defence lawyer can provide valuable assistance in a variety of ways, depending on the circumstances of your case. A defence lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation of your matter and can provide advice on your rights and options even before charges are laid. This can help you avoid incriminating yourself and can help prevent you from making mistakes that could harm your defence.

If you are being investigated by the police, a criminal defence lawyer can support you by ensuring that your rights are protected and that you do not inadvertently provide evidence that could be used against you. They can also support you by helping you navigate the legal system through confident and experienced advice.

If you have been arrested and subsequently detained, a lawyer can represent you at a bail hearing, arguing for your release or for conditions that will minimize the impact on your life and your ability to defend yourself.

Additionally, experienced criminal defence lawyers are experts at negotiating resolutions on your behalf. For example, the Alternative Measures Program (AMP) is an alternative to prosecution for certain offences. If you are eligible for AMP, a criminal defence lawyer can help negotiate with the Crown prosecutor to have you enter the program. This can involve presenting evidence in support of your eligibility and advocating for a suitable resolution that avoids a criminal record. A lawyer can also help ensure that you fulfill any program conditions and successfully complete them, reducing the likelihood of future charges and improving your chances of a positive outcome.

For young offenders, youth extra-judicial sanctions (EJS) can provide an alternative to the traditional criminal justice system. EJS are intended to hold youth accountable for their actions while also addressing the underlying causes of their behaviour. A criminal defence lawyer can help negotiate an EJS on behalf of the youth offender, advocating for an appropriate and fair resolution that takes into account their individual circumstances. A lawyer can also work with the youth to help them understand the nature and consequences of their actions and to fulfill any conditions associated with the sanctions. By providing guidance and support throughout the process, a lawyer can help increase the likelihood of a successful outcome and prevent the youth from becoming involved in the criminal justice system in the future.

Individuals who are struggling with mental health issues and have been charged with a crime may be eligible for the Mental Health Division program (MHD) which provides an alternative to traditional criminal justice proceedings. This program is designed to help individuals receive the support and treatment they need to address underlying mental health issues and to reduce the likelihood of future involvement with the criminal justice system. A criminal defence lawyer can help advocate for your eligibility for MHD and ensure you receive the treatment you need to move forward in a positive direction.

Another resolution a criminal defence lawyer can advocate for on your behalf is a peace bond. A peace bond is a legal agreement that can be entered into between an individual and the Crown prosecutor. It requires an individual to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for a specified period of time which is typically one year. If the individual fails to comply with the peace bond, they may face additional charges. An experienced criminal defence lawyer can not only help negotiate a peace bond, but they can also help you to understand the terms of the peace bond and the consequences of non-compliance.

If your case goes to trial, this can be a daunting and complex process which an experienced criminal defence lawyer can help navigate to achieve the best possible outcome for their client. A lawyer can review the evidence and build a strong defence strategy, identifying weaknesses in the Crown’s case and presenting a compelling argument in favour of their client. Throughout the trial, a lawyer can cross-examine witnesses, challenge evidence, and make arguments in favour of their client’s innocence. With their knowledge of criminal law and trial procedures, a criminal defence lawyer is your best option to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive a fair and just trial.

If you are found guilty, sentencing is a crucial aspect of the criminal justice process, as it can have a significant impact on an individual’s life. A criminal defence lawyer can help their client during sentencing by presenting a strong case in mitigation of their client’s actions. This can involve highlighting any mitigating factors, such as mental health issues, personal circumstances, indigenous status, or lack of prior criminal history, that may reduce the severity of the sentence. A lawyer can also provide expert advice on sentencing guidelines and advocate for an appropriate sentence that is fair and proportionate to the offence committed. Additionally, a lawyer can advise their client on any available alternatives to custody, such as community service or probation, and work to ensure that their client receives a just and reasonable sentence.

Contact Strategic Criminal Defence Today

At our firm, we recognize that each of our clients is unique and that every criminal charge requires a personalized approach. Our initial step with any new client is to actively listen. This process allows us to gain a thorough understanding of the specific circumstances leading to your criminal charge, which is crucial in determining the best strategy for a favourable outcome. Additionally, we will work with you to identify your goals, whether that be avoiding a criminal record, minimizing jail time, or reducing any fines.

Once we have a comprehensive understanding of your situation, we will discuss the available options and provide you with an outline of the strategy we believe would be most beneficial in your case. Ultimately, we will work closely with you to decide on the best course of action and ensure that you have complete confidence in any decisions made.

Criminal Defence FAQ

How much does it cost to hire a criminal defence lawyer in Calgary?

At Strategic Criminal Defence we understand that legal fees can be a concern for anyone facing a criminal charge. That is why we offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case and assess how we can help.

Our flexible fee structure fee structures are designed to accommodate every budget, and we are committed to providing our clients with quality legal representation and our diverse team of lawyers allows us to offer a range of fees without sacrificing the quality of your defence.

Rest assured that no matter who you hire, you will have the full support and expertise of our experienced legal team.

What are the Canadian self-defence laws?

Canadian self-defence laws allow individuals to use reasonable force to defend themselves or others against imminent or actual unlawful force. The law recognizes that individuals have a right to protect themselves, but the level of force must be proportional to the threat and must not exceed what is necessary to protect oneself or others. It is important to note that self-defence is only applicable when there is no other reasonable option available and when the use of force is necessary to prevent harm. It is also essential to understand that self-defence is a legal defence and must be argued in court by a criminal defence lawyer. If you have been charged with a crime related to your own self-defence, it is essential to seek legal advice from an experienced criminal defence lawyer to ensure your rights are protected.

How long does a crime stay on your record?

The length of time that a crime stays on your record in Canada depends on the type of offence and the outcome of your case. In general, summary conviction offences remain on your record for 5 years from the date of the conviction, while indictable offences remain on your record indefinitely. However, some offences may be eligible for a record suspension or pardon, which can remove the conviction from your record after a certain period of time has passed and specific conditions have been met. It’s important to note that even if a conviction is removed from your record, it may still be disclosed in certain circumstances, such as if you are applying for a job that requires a criminal record check. A criminal defence lawyer can provide guidance on your options for seeking a record suspension or pardon.

On what grounds can a judge deny bail?

A judge can deny bail if they believe that the accused poses a flight risk, is likely to commit another crime while released, or may interfere with the administration of justice. Additionally, if the judge determines that releasing the accused would undermine public confidence in the administration of justice, they may also deny bail. This can occur depending on the severity of the alleged crime to have been committed, or if the accused has a history of criminal activity. In these cases, the judge may decide that the accused should remain in custody until their trial. It is important to have an experienced criminal defence lawyer to represent you at the bail hearing to present a strong case for your release.

How do I know if there is a warrant for my arrest?

If you suspect there may be a warrant for your arrest in Canada, there are a few ways to find out. First, you can go to your local police station to confirm whether you have a warrant. You must visit a police station in person as photo identification is required to conduct the search. This cannot be done over the phone or online. If the police find that you do in fact have a warrant, you will be arrested at the police station immediately.

Another option is to contact a criminal defence lawyer who can obtain this information by communicating with the Crown Prosecutor’s office. Retaining a criminal defence lawyer may be incredibly useful to you because relying on their expertise will allow you to remain strategically ahead of the warrant’s execution. For example, our lawyers at Strategic Criminal Defence can assist you in preparing for the bail process before the warrant has been fulfilled.

If you choose, you may also make an inquiry at the courthouse, a court clerk will be able to do a search of any outstanding warrants to tickets you may have. The courthouse may charge you a fee for this service. If there is an ongoing warrant for your arrest, the court clerk will instruct a sheriff to detain you and subsequently transport you to a police station.

What is a defence vs prosecution lawyer?

In criminal cases, there are two main types of lawyers involved: defence lawyers and prosecution lawyers. A defence lawyer represents the accused, and their job is to defend the client against the charges laid by the prosecution. They work to prove their client’s innocence, negotiate a resolution, or negotiate a plea for a lesser charge or reduced sentence. On the other hand, a prosecution lawyer represents the Crown in a criminal case. Their job is to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of the charges laid against them. The prosecution lawyer must present evidence and argue their case in court to convince a judge or jury of the accused’s guilt. Both types of lawyers have their own roles to play in the criminal justice system, with the ultimate goal of ensuring a fair and just outcome for all parties involved.

Client Reviews

Michael Oykhman is a very professional lawyer and the first time I spoke to him he asked about my situation and he gave me some very helpful advice and assistance and also told me his odds of winning this case. During the days I was in contact with micheal I could feel the level of professionalism of him and his team, he is able to respond back to you with any questions you have within 24 hours. In the end he was as successful in helping me win my case as he had initially promised me.If you are still struggling to find a lawyer, I highly recommend Michael Oykhman.


Please give yourself a favour and contact Mr. Michael Oykhman if you need any legal advice or if you are in a terrible situation. Even-tough, the odds are not in your favour, still they will go extra miles to help you out in bad situation and get you favourable outcome. Moreover, They will work on your file even after the business hours. I don’t have words to say thanks to Mr. Michael oykhman and Kiran Cheema who had worked on my file and get me out of trouble. I’m very grateful for your assistance and exceptional service. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Laura Bobyn my lawyer was amazing and so supportive of my case and me. She fought with Tenacity to get my victory. It was amazing to hear how knowledgeable and how her attention to every little detail of my case was shown in her defence! She is the best and I would recommend her to anyone of my colleagues or people in my life! Thank you, Laura!

This law firm is your go-to!

I had the pleasure of working and trusting my case with Joseph Beller. I had 2 counts against me, and in the end, Joseph was able to present and use his “fighter skills” in court to have my charges lowered to a conditional discharge. On top of this, this firm follows its mission values statement by being ethical, transparent, available, and very friendly. Joseph and his team treated me with the utmost respect from start to finish. Thank you again, Joseph! I hope to never call you again 😊


Joseph Beller, from the very beginning when I first contacted and then retained Joseph as my representative I felt I was in good hands. When I emailed him with a question. I got a prompt response. We communicated often on the phone as needed. Joseph kept me informed as to the process. He made sure I knew all the potential results so I knew and could plan for the different outcomes. I know this his his job. But appreciate his professionalism and also his ability to not make me feel any extra stress. Well done.